By Lindah Kiddey

They flicked marbles in flinty mill races
Where green moss met the wetness of sedges
Running fast to such dangerous places
Legs grass-painted with sore gritted knees.

Bee stings and nettle bites iodine dyed
Purple-red daubs proof of valorous games
Signs of inventiveness zealously tried
In scuffed sandals and rip-ridden socks

The farmyard apple-scrump ladder espied
By stink bomb lobbers and worm magnifiers
Kids grown smarter with wild ventures vied
And memories sparking of days well played.

They might try you and cause consternation
But these kids have grown clever with intellects sharp
Deep-delving, researching a vaccine salvation
To stamp on this plague like a fledgling bare.

Lindah Kiddey: I had a writing career of over 40 years spanning organisational communications, writing and editing across many sectors, and magazine journalism.

I turned to poetry and creative prose in retirement!

Poetry is immersive.  As a sociable and lively spirit, I needed something to keep me sane and smiling during lockdown. 

The results have amused, confused, bemused and entertained my husband and son. Both have given splendid support and are, in turn, my most constructive critics!

Inspiration for ‘Players’

During the pandemic all media  has relied, almost without exception, on the knowledge and expertise of well-regarded professionals.

These scientists, statisticians, and commentators were born largely in the 50s and 60s; many are my contemporaries.

We are the generation of wild, adventurous, outdoor play; TV has been the only screen to keep us seated for most of our lives.   

Our guardians had fewer anxieties for our safety.  We took advantage of this freedom, enriching our young, enquiring minds, scabbing our knees along the way.

Subsequent generations have taken less free paths to adulthood, governed increasingly by digital devices.

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Anne Clark
Anne Clark
2 years ago

Loved it. A wonderful description of the carefree and adventurous childhoods of our Covid destroyers.

3 years ago

Brilliant Lindah, I loved the vivid picture painted by your poem. Your description at the end of the experts we have relied on during this strange time just clarified everything so well. You are so right about the children of the 50’s and 60’s and their youth being full of such terrific learning experiences.

Poetry and Covid-19 ARCHIVE (This website archives the over 1000 poems submitted by over 600 poets, and viewed by over 100,000 from over 125 countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, June 2020-June 2021). Thank you to all who took part in the Poetry and Covid project.

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